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My trip to the Wessex warehouse in Michigan

Postby williamp » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:43 pm

I visited the Wessex warehouse in Michigan today and had a great time playing several tubas. I’d like to thank Andy Loree for being such a great host and allowing me plenty of time trying horns for myself and also doing some preliminary looking for a friend interested in a BBb.

First off, the warehouse is in a great location to visit! My wife went for a swim in Lake Michigan at a beach nearby and the area is beautiful. Nearby Grand Haven has plenty of good eats and shops to keep other family members happy, too.

I’m in the market for an affordable EEb. I tried the Cavalry 4 front action piston compensated; the Gnagey 5 valve front action; and the Danube 5 rotary valve tuba.

Of these three EEbs, I preferred the Gnagey and actually plan on purchasing one. The Gnagey was responsive in all ranges, felt comfortable to play, and the intonation was excellent. It felt clean all the way up and down the scales. I’m going to like it very much. Here’s a short video of the Gnagey:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYb_DkPl0L0

The Cavalry (yes I mistakenly say “Calgary” in the video) was the first compensated EEb I’ve played. I actually liked the sound in the middle/upper range a little more than the Gnagey. To my ear, it had a little more “ring” to it. My wife noticed it right away. The lower register was less open than the Gnagey. My hand did not sit well with this horn and started cramping almost immediately. I think repositioning the thumb ring would have solved this. Here’s the same music on the Cavalry:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBL-FVN8cBs

I played the Danube EEb rotary tuba only briefly before deciding this tuba was not for me. My wife described the sound as “nasal” compared to the other EEbs. The intonation was not nearly as accurate for me as the other two models. I did not bother to record the Danube.

I tried some BBbs for a friend in the market (I already own three awesome large BBbs and shouldn’t consider another). The 6/4 prototype is very impressive and fun to play. It feels great and very even through the registers. Very well “slotted” intonation. A little awkward to get used to the positioning for playing, but MAN, what a horn!! Here’s the 6/4:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuQymHF-doM

I played a large 4/4 Viverna 5 valve BBb that Andy said was somewhat modeled off the Miraphone 1291. I had considered purchasing a 1291 numerous years ago. I must admit, I thought the Wessex has much more “presence” and “color” than the 1291 I played. I played this horn for quite awhile and couldn’t believe it’s under $4,000. It should be a no-brainer for someone wanting a nice full sized horn. Here’s the same excerpt on the 4/4:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXoA_hTUqzE

I also tried a BBb helicon, that was also easy to play (in spite of my missed notes!). This would be a pretty cool little dixieland tuba with a great big bottom. Here’s a sample:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQHCSFKCpqU

Thanks again to the folks at Wessex for hosting me today. I look forward to owning a Gnagey soon!
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Re: My trip to the Wessex warehouse in Michigan

Postby TheTuba » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:03 pm

williamp wrote:I visited the Wessex warehouse in Michigan today and had a great time playing several tubas. I’d like to thank Andy Loree for being such a great host and allowing me plenty of time trying horns for myself and also doing some preliminary looking for a friend interested in a BBb.

First off, the warehouse is in a great location to visit! My wife went for a swim in Lake Michigan at a beach nearby and the area is beautiful. Nearby Grand Haven has plenty of good eats and shops to keep other family members happy, too.

I’m in the market for an affordable EEb. I tried the Cavalry 4 front action piston compensated; the Gnagey 5 valve front action; and the Danube 5 rotary valve tuba.

Of these three EEbs, I preferred the Gnagey and actually plan on purchasing one. The Gnagey was responsive in all ranges, felt comfortable to play, and the intonation was excellent. It felt clean all the way up and down the scales. I’m going to like it very much. Here’s a short video of the Gnagey:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYb_DkPl0L0" target="_blank

The Cavalry (yes I mistakenly say “Calgary” in the video) was the first compensated EEb I’ve played. I actually liked the sound in the middle/upper range a little more than the Gnagey. To my ear, it had a little more “ring” to it. My wife noticed it right away. The lower register was less open than the Gnagey. My hand did not sit well with this horn and started cramping almost immediately. I think repositioning the thumb ring would have solved this. Here’s the same music on the Cavalry:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBL-FVN8cBs" target="_blank

I played the Danube EEb rotary tuba only briefly before deciding this tuba was not for me. My wife described the sound as “nasal” compared to the other EEbs. The intonation was not nearly as accurate for me as the other two models. I did not bother to record the Danube.

I tried some BBbs for a friend in the market (I already own three awesome large BBbs and shouldn’t consider another). The 6/4 prototype is very impressive and fun to play. It feels great and very even through the registers. Very well “slotted” intonation. A little awkward to get used to the positioning for playing, but MAN, what a horn!! Here’s the 6/4:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuQymHF-doM" target="_blank

I played a large 4/4 Viverna 5 valve BBb that Andy said was somewhat modeled off the Miraphone 1291. I had considered purchasing a 1291 numerous years ago. I must admit, I thought the Wessex has much more “presence” and “color” than the 1291 I played. I played this horn for quite awhile and couldn’t believe it’s under $4,000. It should be a no-brainer for someone wanting a nice full sized horn. Here’s the same excerpt on the 4/4:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXoA_hTUqzE" target="_blank

I also tried a BBb helicon, that was also easy to play (in spite of my missed notes!). This would be a pretty cool little dixieland tuba with a great big bottom. Here’s a sample:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQHCSFKCpqU" target="_blank

Thanks again to the folks at Wessex for hosting me today. I look forward to owning a Gnagey soon!


Thank you!
you sounded great on every one, and I was pleasantly surprised on how good the BBb sounded! Thank you for supplying a video(s) unlike most reviews!
Still searching for a 8/4 EEb
I mean if you want to, you can buy me the tuba in my name :P
If you're selling a good BBb or CC 5/4 or large 4/4 with 5 valves in 2021 under 6,000, please, contact me!
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Re: My trip to the Wessex warehouse in Michigan

Postby williamp » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:11 pm

[quote]Thank you!
you sounded great on every one, and I was pleasantly surprised on how good the BBb sounded! Thank you for supplying a video(s) unlike most reviews!/quote]

Thank you! The Prototype BBb may be the 8/4 you are searching for...
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Re: My trip to the Wessex warehouse in Michigan

Postby ren » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:25 pm

Most excellent! Thanks for sharing the videos.
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Re: My trip to the Wessex warehouse in Michigan

Postby Steve Marcus » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:05 pm

Very nice playing, williamp!

BTW, I love playing that 6/4 BBb hand-hammered prototype! It’s called the “Prokofiev” TB693.
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Re: My trip to the Wessex warehouse in Michigan

Postby williamp » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:03 am

thanks, Steve! And thanks for setting up the meeting with Andy!
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Re: My trip to the Wessex warehouse in Michigan

Postby Wyvern » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:38 am

I am so pleased you enjoyed playing the tubas and thanks for the videos. I hope you get lots of good playing on the Gnagey Eb!

williamp wrote:The Cavalry (yes I mistakenly say “Calgary” in the video) was the first compensated EEb I’ve played. I actually liked the sound in the middle/upper range a little more than the Gnagey. To my ear, it had a little more “ring” to it. My wife noticed it right away. The lower register was less open than the Gnagey. My hand did not sit well with this horn and started cramping almost immediately. I think repositioning the thumb ring would have solved this.


Just to comment on that Cavalry thumb ring. That tuba you played was a prototype and I entirely agree with you about position of thumb ring. When I have played that actual tuba, I mostly did not use the ring but put my thumb under the tubing. On the production tuba the ring position is adjustable, or can be removed all together as preferred.
See our fantastic new website at www.Wessex-Tubas.com

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Re: My trip to the Wessex warehouse in Michigan

Postby Three Valves » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:49 pm

What was the ditty you were playing on the Eb??
Who needs four valves??

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Re: My trip to the Wessex warehouse in Michigan

Postby bloke » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:00 pm

Three Valves wrote:What was the ditty you were playing on the Eb??


asked by a MB Artisttee SPY !!! :shock:
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Re: My trip to the Wessex warehouse in Michigan

Postby williamp » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:02 pm

Three Valves wrote:What was the ditty you were playing on the Eb??


Mozart Horn Concerto #3
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Re: My trip to the Wessex warehouse in Michigan

Postby Three Valves » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:06 pm

Thanks!!
Who needs four valves??

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Re: My trip to the Wessex warehouse in Michigan

Postby Michael Grant » Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:09 pm

Great playing, Dude! Especially knowing you’ve never played those horns before. Thanks for doing some legwork on the BBb’s for me. It looks and sounds like Wessex is doing some good things.
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Re: My trip to the Wessex warehouse in Michigan

Postby bh2001 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:14 am

Thanks for the videos. Looks like you had a fun trip.
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